CHENNAI: Aavin sweets will not be given as a token of goodwill to anyone including top officials of the department, said Milk and Dairy development Minister S M Nasar in Chennai on Wednesday. “I purchased sweets and request the managing director, general managers and other officials do the same,” said the minister.
He said this while addressing a review meeting at Aavin headquarters in Nandanam. “This year, two private companies have placed orders for sweets from Aavin ahead of the festival,” the minister said.
On July 4, Nasar had accused former AIADMK Minister K T Rajenthra Bhalaji of taking home 1.5 tonnes of sweets from Aavin during Deepavali last year. When asked about the allegations levelled against Bhalaji, Nasar said a departmental inquiry is underway. “If he is found guilty, suitable action will be recommended against him,” he said.
Under the pretext of gifting clients, top Aavin officials also receive huge quantity of sweets during festivals. Sweet boxes are also given for free to milk producers unions and those close to leaders during Deepavali, Ayudha Pooja, Vijayadasami and Pongal. However, the exact quantity of sweets supplied during festivals over the past few years is being assessed, said official sources.
In an order to cut losses, the state-owned cooperative milk producers federation has decided not to give sweets for free this year. Ever since the State government cut milk price by Rs 3 on March 16, Aavin’s earnings dipped by Rs 22 crore per month.
Last year, Aavin sold 15 tonnes of sweets and made a profit of Rs 1.2 crore. For year 2021-22, the target is to sell 25 tonnes of sweets. Nasar also instructed the officials to take steps to clear unsold milk powder and ghee over the next three months.